This week opens with an attractive young man coming in and asking to pay a visit to his safety deposit box from a beautiful teller named Amanda. They go into the back and start making out. The man spins her around and, after seeing the security camera was off, jabs her with a needle full of a drug to knock her out. The man then opens a number of safety deposit boxes and rifles through the contents. Another bank employee shows up, and the robber fires a bullet into his forehead.
First flashback of the evening is Cal Sweeney in the prison laundry explaining how the laundry room works, and the passing of contraband to inmates who can pay. Sweeney explains to his protege that you can’t care about anyone or anything, and that’s the best way to do business. A guard warns Sweeney that his cell is being tossed, and then we go to Sweeney freaking out and searching for something that Tiller apparently took.
In the present day, Madsen and Soto are eating breakfast at a Chinese restaurant. Soto explains a little about how he ended up at the comic book shop (apparently he intentionally humiliated himself), and then they get a call that safety deposit boxes were hit at a bank. Soto realizes this was the work of Cal Sweeney, in particular because the vault wasn’t hit at all. Safety deposit boxes were his m.o. clearly. Makes sense if you think about it.
Madsen interviews the teller, who explains how Sweeney conned her well enough to get him into the back. And then the good inspector has the brilliant idea of talking to the safety deposit box owners and getting a list of the stolen items. That way if Sweeney tries to sell the items, he’ll get flagged.
Or it would be a brilliant idea, if Sweeney wasn’t already acting as an agent of Colonial Liberty Bank and visiting the owners of the safety deposit boxes himself. Yeah, that’s going to be a problem.
Sweeney goes through the motions of interviewing the owner of a safety deposit box. He fixates on the sapphire necklace, going so far as to ask where the man met his wife. Sweeney reveals the necklace, and grabs the man hand when he reaches to snatch the necklace. He jams the same gun he shot that bank employee with against the man’s hand and fires. The man screams, and Sweeney again demands to know the story.
Tiller’s getting a shave back in 1960, when Sweeney shows up and demands the return of a silver box. Tiller refuses and says he wants a piece of Sweeney’s action. In response, Sweeney declares he’s closed for business; his buddy figures on a way to get Sweeney into a party being held for Tiller.
Madsen and Soto go to the last house, and meet the man’s wife outside. They mention the theft, the wife lets them in, and they find the man dead in the dining room. Then we see Sweeney walk into another bank. Uh-oh … I got a bad feeling.
1960 again. Sweeney and his buddy are in the warden’s residence setting up for the party. Warden James enters and suggests giving Tiller a birthday he’ll never forget. Tiller brings in his “gimp” sister, who wanted to wear her birthday suit. Everyone sits down to dinner, and James mentions to Dr. Beauregard (yes that Dr. Beauregard) about Dr. Sangupta’s specialty. Under questions from Beauregard, Lily explains her theory about how deviant behavior in the inmates is locked in their memories. She wants to take their memories out and “fix” them as it were. Sounds ominous, methinks. The cell door slams and we’re back in the present.
Sweeney’s file box only contains an empty tin box. Which is odd by itself, and I’m starting to wonder more about the connection between Lily, Beauregard, and the inmates. Madsen, Soto, and Hauser figure out Sweeney’s courting female bank tellers using flowers from a particular shop.
Madsen and Soto go to May’s Flowers, where the woman immediately recognizes a photo of Sweeney. She prints out the order history, and manages to throw in a bit of flirting with Soto.
Back to Sweeney, who’s already making out with another teller in the safety deposit box room. However this time she turns around before he can knock her out; she runs and smacks the alarm button. Sweeney freaks out and cracks the deposit boxes. He tries to leave, but the security guard stops him. Or at least tries to, because Sweeney clocks him one. And then Sweeney takes over the bank by firing a shot into the air. Madsen and Soto are already on the scene … and they’re not happy. I wouldn’t be either, if an inmate from Alcatraz in the 1960s was waving a gun around.
At Tiller’s birthday dinner, Warden James offers up a toast right before he gives the Deputy Warden a gift. Turns out James gave Tiller a pen for a gift, something which Tiller apparently doesn’t appreciate. Sweeney’s friend spills something on Tiller, and the deputy warden heads off into the bathroom. Sweeney comes in, he and Tiller argue, Tiller says he doesn’t have the box … and then Sweeney attacks him. Tiller stabs Sweeney in the leg using the pen, and once he overpowers the inmate tells him he’s going to the hole assuming he doesn’t bleed out first. That didn’t turn out well, did it?
Hauser decides they’re going to break Sweeney out of the bank. He joins the “jurisdictional pissing contest” between the SF police chief and the SWAT team to give Madsen the time she needs. Soto figures out a vent from the building next door will feed into the bank, because that’s how things were built after the Great Quake.
Inside the bank, Sweeney grabs the teller and says she’s going to help him get out of there or everyone dies. Why do I get the sense that’s a real possibility for them anyway? Madsen’s busy climbing through the ducts while Sweeney threatens the teller. He hears her climb into the building and goes to investigate. When Sweeney finds her, she introduces herself and he demands to know if she’s there to arrest him. Nope! She gonna get you out buddy. This will end badly.
Sweeney doesn’t trust Madsen, which is understandable, but she does have a vested interest in making sure he gets out without getting caught. Madsen predicts the hostage negotiator calling the bank, which does in fact happen. Outsider Hauser keeps stalling until we hear gunshots from inside the bank. The cops hurl tear gas in and begin pulling people out of the bank.
Madsen had Sweeney put on a guard uniform, so when they get escorted out she’s able to get in a cop car and drive him away. The cops realize Sweeney is gone right before they also figure out Hauser’s disappeared. Soto and Hauser follow them in a mustang, but only until Sweeney comments on it. Hauser realizes they’ve been made, and convinces Soto to break off pursuit. Fun little side note … the last time Soto was behind the wheel of a car he was 11. Hmm …
Back in 1960 after the commercial break, and Sweeney’s back in his cell recovering from the stab wound. His buddy in the cell next door tries to cheer him up despite everything. Oh and the buddy slides the empty tin box back over, which is apparently the only thing that didn’t burn in the fire that killed his family. Yup, the protege played Sweeney like a fiddle. Sweeney “showed his belly” like a submissive dog and that inmate took advantage. Then the guards came for him.
Madsen asks what Sweeney took from the bank, and he reveals the little box he stole. She asks him to open it, but he says he’s not supposed to. Then he tells her to pull over, because he’s going to let her out. Of course Madsen refuses. Instead she speeds up and crashes the cruiser so Sweeney’s head bashes into the side window. This makes four inmates captured. 298 left to go.
The box Sweeney was carrying? Contained a key. A key looking suspiciously like the one Jack Sylvane pulled out of a locker back in the pilot. Curiouser and curiouser. Hauser asks for the key, Madsen initially refuses, but finally relents if he tells her what the key opens. Hauser takes the key and tells her some other day. Hauser then goes deeper into the prison, and hands the key to a scientist to analyze so they can see why the prisoners jumped. They’re laser-cut keys too, which is interesting because laser cutting didn’t exist in the 1960s.
Speaking of 1960, Warden James leads our pal and Sweeney’s down into the cellar. A subterranean resident desires to meet the man, and when Warden James opens the door he tells the man “your future just got a whole lot brighter kid.”
If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Alcatraz: Kit Nelson’ recap.